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Royal Hunt Pub Community Group

Residents and their supporters are invited to help combat rural decline by joining the Royal Hunt Pub Community Group who plan to help make the Royal Hunt into a successful pub and restaurant.

The RHPCG have been using legislation to protect the pub from demolition. An Asset of Community Value (ACV) is a property of importance to a local community, which is subject to additional protection from development under the Localism Act 2011. The Royal Hunt Pub has been nominated as an ACV 5 times.

  • May 2015 by Winkfield Parish Council
  • June 2015 by CAMRA
  • October 2017 by CAMRA
  • June 2018 by The Royal Hunt Pub Community Group
  • December 2018 by The Royal Hunt Pub Community Group
Some ACV Nominations were successful and survived challenges but eventually got removed from the Bracknell Forest Council ACV Register.

Patrick Ruddy Homes have submitted 3 Planning Applications to demolish The Royal Hunt Pub.
  • 17/00672/FUL in July 2017. Winkfield Parish Council recommended to BFC refusal of that planning application. BFC refused that planning application in March 2018.
  • 18/00552/FUL in May 2018. Winkfield Parish Council recommended to BFC refusal of that planning application. That was refused by BFC in December 2018. The owners appealed but the appeal was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate in August 2019.
  • 20/00001/FUL This planning application was received in January 2020 and is pending consideration. Winkfield Parish Council have recommended to BFC refusal of the latest planning application to demolish the pub.
After each planning application Winkfield Parish Council have recommended to BFC that each planning application should be refused. The following extract is from Winkfield Parish's formal LOCAL COUNCIL OBSERVATIONS sent to Bracknell Forest in February 2020
WPC notes the exceptionally high level of local support for the preservation of this local amenity, the loss of which WPC does not wish to see. WPC would take this opportunity to remind Bracknell Forest of its core strategies (particularly CS21, CS23 and CS24) and the elements of sympathetic development to which they allude. WPC does not feel that this proposal is supported by the Core Strategies.

The founder of the Royal Hunt Pub Community Group has made a speech at Winkfield Parish Council Planning meetings in response to each of the planning applications. This extract from the speech in August 2017 explains CS21, CS23 and CS24.
Bracknell Forest Borough Core Strategy sets out a planning framework for guiding the location and level of development in the Borough up to 2026. The Core Strategy is not there to make developers rich. The Core Strategy exists to ensure that the community can continue to enjoy living in this area up to and beyond 2026. The Core Strategy is supposed to be used to determine applications for planning permission, but some of its core strategies do seem to have been ignored, for example CS21, CS23 and CS24.
  • CS21 states "Planning applications involving the loss by redevelopment or change of use of retail units that perform an important community role will only be allowed if they do not conflict with other elements of this strategy". Before the Gold Cup and Cranbourne Tower were demolished, they performed an important community role. If The Royal Hunt gets re-opened as a pub, it can also perform a community role, which is even more important because it is the only pub remaining in the 2-and-a-half-mile route along London Rd, Fernbank Rd, New Rd and Forest Rd.
  • CS23 states "The Council will use its planning and transport powers to: i. reduce the need to travel; and ii. increase the safety of travel". Losing the public house has the exact opposite effect. It increases the need to travel and more importantly increases the risk of accidents due to extended travel once alcohol has been consumed.
  • CS24 states "Development will be permitted where mitigation against the transport impacts, which may arise from that development or cumulatively with other proposals, is provided. This shall be achieved through the submission of a transport assessment or transport statement, and where appropriate the provision of new and the improvement of existing pedestrian and cycle routes." The safety of schoolchildren and parents is already adversely affected by increased road traffic due to the piecemeal development of North Ascot. This cumulative overdevelopment is unacceptably increasing the pressure on local education facilities and transport infrastructure. Ascot Heath School previously publicly stated that they were already fully subscribed. The local transport infrastructure is sadly lacking in separate scooter/cycle paths.
The Royal Hunt Pub Community Group will be continuing their fight to save this valuable community asset.

Speech at Carnation Hall 7.30pm 4th February 2020

Total Pledged: £248,330.00
Total Members: 137

This money could be made available to fund a freehold purchase. Additional funding can also be raised using a community share issue, grants from the Plunkett Foundation, More than a Pub, Locality and the Heritage Lottery Fund, all of which are actively supporting existing community buy-outs elsewhere in the country. Even if you do not want to make a pledge, we still welcome you to join the RHPCG. The more members we have, the better. Housing developers hope that you will get objection fatigue. Please don't let them win. We ask for your patience, your resilience and your continuing support.

This process can take a few years. For example, the Royal Oak at Hail Weston was in a similar situation in 2012. The Hail Weston Community Pub Society was formed. In January 2017 The Royal Oak was bought by a group of eight local villagers. The building has been refurbished and reopened as an independent village pub on May 19th 2017.